Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It Comes With The Job


It comes with the job. I knew that when I met him.  It’s not something I will ever be okay with though. It comes with the job. I knew that when we decided to have children but I will hide it from them for as long as I can. It comes with the job. I hear this in my head from time to time. I hear it on the news. I read it in the paper but to me it is so much more than a job.

To me it is the thing that my boys have adored from the moment they could talk. They beam with pride when we visit daddy at work. They want to be just like him.  My oldest tells all his friends about his daddy and what a hero he is. He is a hero. He is a fire fighter.  To my boys he is the guy who gets to ride on a fire truck at work, wear a uniform and cool boots, climb ladders, and put out fires.  To me he is the center of our family. He is the one my boys jump up and down for when he comes home. He is the one who sits at the dinner table and completes our family of four. He is our rock. He is our heart. He is our hero.

I know however that he is also the guy running into the burning building when everyone else is running out. He is the one cutting a hole in a roof of a building that may collapse. He is not alone. He is surrounded by fellow firefighters who are all doing the same. 

On our wedding day his Lieutenant at the time and fellow firefighters pulled me aside and made me a promise. They promised me he would always come home. They promised me that they would always be safe and they would always get out. I know they meant this. I also know that somewhere there is a sealed letter written to me that I don’t ever want to receive. It’s a goodbye letter should the unthinkable ever happen.

I kiss him goodbye before his shift and I don’t allow myself to think about the danger. I can’t. I would never sleep again if I did.  Instead I watch my boys play with fire trucks, and pretend to put out fires with the hose and I laugh at their imaginations. Deep down part of me hopes they will outgrow this stage because to be perfectly honest I don’t think I could handle all three of the men in my life being firefighters.

There are men and women all over the world who do things for a living that many of us wouldn’t dare imagine. Police, Firefighters, EMT’s, Nurses, Army, Navy, Marines, Social workers and the list goes on. They are beyond brave. They are selfless people who think of others before they ever think of themselves. We think about them from time to time. We think about them when a tragedy hits the news. We think about them when something happens that hits close to home.

The people who love them however think about them constantly. We are proud of them. We are worried about them. We love them.  The news about the 19 firefighters who died in the Arizona wild fires hit the news on June 30th. It’s been exactly 17 days since the lives of their families were forever changed. While the rest of us were going to fireworks and celebrating the 4th of July their families were grieving. They are not alone. It happens more often than you think or that I care to admit to know.

I would like the families of these brave firefighters to know that I am thinking of them on day 17 and I will think of them long after today. I would like them to know that their sons, brothers, husbands, boyfriends, friends, grandsons, nephews, cousins, fathers are not forgotten.

I would like the 19 men who died that day to know that across the country there are two little boys who think you are all braver than any superhero they could ever imagine. I would like to thank them. I would like to tell them they will not be forgotten.  Being remembered comes with the job.

 




Photo Credit: Rebecca Wilks www.skylineimages.net
*Printed with permission*


This post is dedicated to the 19 men who lost their lives in Arizona on June 30, 2013.

Andrew
Robert
Travis
Dustin
Chris
Eric
Grant
Sean
Scott
Wade
John
Anthony
Jesse
Joe
Travis
Billy
Clayton
Kevin
Garret

29 comments:

  1. Oh, Jennifer. This is a beautiful tribute. Thank you. And, thank you to your husband.

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    1. Thank you so much! My heart is smiling just knowing that people are reading it and thinking of these brave men if even just for a moment. :)

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  2. I didn't know your husband is a fire fighter. What a wonderful tribute. The news of the 19 must have been so hard for you. :(

    On a happy note, your son is absolutely adorable in the fireman hat!

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    1. Thank you so much! The news hit me hard for sure. I couldn't agree more though he is darn cute! ;)

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  3. Do me a favor. Tell your husband I said "Thank you."

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    1. And just like that you bacame the first commenter to ever make me tear up. I will be sure to tell him. Thank you.

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  4. On behalf of my family, please pass along our love and thanks to him and his brothers. (And thank you David for sharing this.

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  5. You are so much braver than I could ever hope to be. Thank you, for selflessly sharing your husband. For giving up the comfort of knowing he's always safe, in order to make sure that the rest of us are. You know you're a hero, too, right?

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    1. Jenn thank you for that...really, thank you.

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    2. No, thank YOU! Ooh, let's have a thank you fight. :)

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  6. Beautiful post; you made me cry.

    Thank you to you & your husband & your little future firefighters.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read it and send your thanks.

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  7. Jenn I can't tell you how this hit me. Knowing many FireFighters and knowing what their wives mother's children and families got through each time they kiss them good bye. You too as the other Jenn said a Hero.
    Thank you for this beautiful piece. It touched me in a special way.
    and thank you for adding Social workers to your list.
    Hugs,
    Triscia

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  8. Recently I was with a couple, he is a firefighter she is a RN. She was giving him crap about not working a lot. I was mortified. I turned to her and said I don't care if he only works 1 day a year, the man chooses to run into buildings to save people when other's are running out. Please thank your husband, and what a wonderful tribute to those fallen. So sad and horrible for the entire community and their families.

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    1. I will thank him. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. It is so terribly sad what happened to that community and their families.

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  9. What a sweet post! I have always admired the women who are married to firefighters, police officers, soldiers. I honestly don't know if I could do it. In my eyes, the wives, mothers, and families of these people who serve others so selflessly are heroes too. So, thank you and thanks to your husband and to all the other families out there who do what you two do!

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    1. Aw...thank you for that! It means a lot to know people appreciate us.

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  10. Thank you for allowing your beloved to run into danger everytime he goes to work. You are a brave lady. Thanks for hooking up to the Hump Day hook Up

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  11. wow. Tears. Yes, they are not forgotten. This is a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to them. Please do tell your husband thank you from all of us. I understand your pride and fear. My husband is retired Army and now works for the government. He recently went to Afghanistan and while I was proud, I was really worried, too (he came home and is fine). It's a delicate balance, the love and protectiveness we feel over our heros. Truly beautiful post.

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    1. Thank you Kristi! I'm so happy to hear your husband is home safe.

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  12. That was such a tragedy. I can't imagine what these families are going through. I love your post. it is lovely.

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  13. WOW. This is a beautiful post. My heart breaks for the families who lost loved ones.

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  14. This is so beautiful Jennifer! Thank you for your words, and mostly what is behind those words in your heart!

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    1. Thank you Angela. Please tell your family we are thinking of them and will do everything we can to help. I know I am not alone in hoping that the city of Prescott and the State of Arizona will do what is right and give Juliann the benefits she so deserves.

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  15. You write so beautifully that I feel what you're feeling as I read this.

    And I love that you write from the heart. This is such a touching post.

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